Speed Week 2019 is just a couple of months away and that has us dreaming of the gearhead Valhalla that we have come to know and love over the years. The Salt, The Great White Dyno, Bonneville, whatever you choose to call it, stands unique in the world of hot rodding and motorsports as a location where regular people do extraordinary things. They do them not in a chase for money or fame, but for self-fulfillment and as a test of their own ideas and abilities. This video is an awesome and organic look at Bonneville 30 years ago and boy does it have us smiling.
From the tech lines at the old Air Force base to the much more desolate feel of the “pre-internet” Speed Week, this is just fantastic stuff. You’ll notice that the “feel” of this video is far less hectic than films you see coming from today’s version of Speed Week. Why? Well for starters it was way less hectic. There were less competitors, there were less media people, there were far less “spectators”, and it truly was the hardest of the hardcore.
The internet’s unflinching eye exposed more people to land speed racing than had ever seen it before and the captivating images of the salt began to bring them out in droves. While the spectator count is number in the singular thousands these days, it was likely numbered in the singular hundreds back in 1989. You had to REALLY want to be there, much like today, but it was even more difficult to get there and find a place to stay 30 years back.
From the pits to the starting line, iconic machines and those that made one appearance, this 1989 peek into Bonneville racing is the perfect way to whet our whistle as we look towards the salt again in 2019.